By Liji Thomas, MD
An emerging area for wound care is hydrogel dressings as they increase success and speed of wound healing due to the ability to maintain optimum wound healing environment superseding conventional dressings.
Hydrogel dressings consist of 90% water suspended in a gel made of insoluble hydrophilic polymers that swell up on contact with water, which are typically synthetic molecule polymers such as polyvinylpyrrolidine and polymethacrylate combined with alginate dressings, that control fluid exchange on wound-bandage interface with sodium and/or other molecules in wound discharge being exchanged for hydrogel compounds.
Hydrogel provides moisture to enable painless debridement of infected and necrotic tissues, promoting granulation while encouraging complete healing. Hydrogel dressings have high water content which makes them not completely absorbent and appropriate only for wounds with light to moderate exudation. Skin maceration and/or multiplication of microbes can result from water accumulation which can lead to foul smelling infected wounds. The cooling hydrogels can alleviate some pain, which flatten out the wound surface contours and prevent dead space from getting infected, while providing support for surface healing.
Hydrogel sheets are polymeric cross linked molecules capable of absorbing some water helping to prevent wounds with light exudation from becoming to wet with semipermeable polymer film backings. Evaporation is regulated with the backing and keeps wounds from drying out. Sheets can be cut to shape and size, and may be used as secondary or primary dressings … read more